PICS partnered with healthcare technology provider, Clarity Informatics, to create an innovative new piece of technology that increases the amount of time clinicians can spend with patients. In December 2021, Clarity Informatics launched their first-of-its-kind career portfolio software for Physiotherapists, Paramedics, and Podiatrists working across Primary Care Networks. Developed through design sessions and testing with our First Contact Physiotherapist team, colleagues have reduced the time they spend on record keeping by up to three days a month each.

PICS provides support and staff for 11 Primary Care Networks in Nottinghamshire and works closely with the Clinical Directors and staff to embed the roles, support their careers and enable more patients to be seen at the right time by the right person. As one of the largest employers of First Contact Physiotherapists working for PCNs in England, we supported the inception and development of a solution that will make a huge difference for lots of PCN staff, including Paramedics, Podiatrists, Dietitians and Occupational Therapists.

This exciting product is now available across the country for the benefit of thousands of staff in similar roles. Primary Care Networks are creating over 25,000 new and exciting First Contact Practitioners (FCP) roles across England, funded by the Additional Role Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS). Diagnostic clinicians such as Physiotherapists and Paramedics are providing patients with access to a wider range of help from general practice, close to home and either online or face to face. This is part of the NHS Long Term Plan to offer people more choice and more joined-up healthcare. Since recruitment began in April 2020, the roles have helped reduce pressure on existing staff and provided quicker access to specialist care.

Until October 2020, FCPs had no formalised standard of practice or proof of capability that assured a consistently high standard of care was being provided across the NHS. Health Education England (HEE) have since introduced profession-specific roadmaps to practice for anyone working as or towards being a FCP, which sets out specific pathways to treat and care patients in primary care. It’s estimated that it takes up to three days a month in administrative time for each FCP to collate and document their proof of capability.

Clarity Informatics and PICS decided to work together to develop a solution that works for FCPs and HEE. The web-based platform helps streamline the process of documenting and evidencing learning against the required Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes (KSA) framework. It makes it easier to access and add to a portfolio of lifelong learning, saving time for both practitioners and supervisors.

The software is directly linked to learning resources, meaning FCPs don’t need to spend a significant amount of time collating their evidence. The software integration with Clarity’s Practice Management software – TeamNet – enables FCPs to populate their portfolio with any learning evidence collated in TeamNet.

David Taylor, Managing Director for Clarity Informatics said:

“We are delighted to be launching Clarity for FCPs, working with PICS and using our experience in creating streamlined portfolio software for GPs and Nurses, to create a new system for FCP colleagues. With the new governance in place, we hope we can take away the headache for both FCPs and GP practices, who may be asked to show evidence of clinician capability in their CQC inspections. Through the integration with TeamNet there are time saving benefits, so that FCPs can focus on providing care for patients.”

Owen Moore, a Clinical Lead for First Contact Physiotherapists at PICS said:

“This offering from Clarity is a game-changer for all FCPs across England. The Clarity team have been brilliant. Working together with practising clinicians in our team, Clarity and PICS have designed, built and tested new software at meteoric speed. FCPs can now use a single-point recording of Skills, Knowledge and Attributes for Registration by next winter.

“The software is easy to use, and the ability to upload our learning on the go means we don’t have to think about it out of clinic time. The creation of a one-stop shop for learning makes our lives easier, and enables us to develop our careers in Primary Care whilst helping to treat and care for more people in our communities”.

Clarity for FCPs will be available to Physiotherapists, Paramedics, and Podiatrists working for PCNs on an annual subscription model. Individual learning portfolios are easily transferable, meaning FCPs who go between different PCNs can continue their professional development.